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Critique NIK, Eve and Lauretta

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by billtils, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. I've been following the DxO Photolab 2 discussion, and for me it's a no brainer and a "No thanks". I downloaded the original just after it came out and liked it until I realised that it didn't really do anything that my existing software couldn't do just as well. That statement is situational, and applies to my workflow and tastes and for a lot of people it will be yet another case of YMMV.

    The discussion motivated me to go back to one program I use quite a lot and that I was happy to see that DxO had rescued from potential oblivion - the NIK suite.

    I use and like its Silver Efex Pro, but had never explored all the variations. A recent model shoot in the Glasgow Transport Museum, where the two models dressed for the occasion, prompted me to look at the Antique Plate option.

    The first two are of Eve, the third is Lauretta.


    Eve antique plate 2.jpg
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    Eve antique plate 6.jpg
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    Eve antique plate 3.jpg
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  2. The toning and negative vignettes are very appealing.
     
  3. Thanks Mike. It's not something I've done before (and probably won't do again for some time) but I felt it fitted the mood of the setting* and the models' preparations.

    * I am aware that none of these shows off the actual setting but the backgrounds were too busy to include more.
     
  4. Dudley5854

    Dudley5854

    100
    Nov 1, 2018
    Beautiful work
     
  5. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    Excellent images and processing. Lauretta's hair looks a bit odd to me because it appears so light on the left and so dark on the right - BUT - the strong contrast does draw the viewer to those eyes and her lips!
     
  6. Indeed it does! However, it's the softer shadows and lower contrast in the first two images that complement especially well the overall look of the post-processing better in my opinion than in the third photo.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Thanks Karen. Yes, it looked odd to me too, and is partly an artifact from the NIK processing. However, I ended up 100% in agreement with you on how it directed the view to her eyes and lips. I'll take another look later and see if I can get a more balanced result on the hair without taking anything away from the face.

    I appreciated the feedback - thank you.
     
  8. Thanks Dudley
     
  9. Mike and Karen, here is a more conventional (but still Antique Plate effect) image. It's more balanced but I don't think it has the same impact.

    Lauretta.jpg
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  10. Agreed. If you want impact, try a more conventional look.
     
  11. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    To me, in the image in your post #9, her eyes and lips still draw you in.....sweetly! I like the softness of Images 1 and 2 and would like that applied to this image also.

    And I do like the composition of the first image of Lauretta. I'd like to see it without the negative vignette and with the softness of Images 1 and 2.
     
  12. Thanks Karen (and Mike). The image in post #9 is one that was already in the library. I still intend to have another look.

    (In case you are wondering why not now when I was able to post the second "Lauretta" image, the answer is that all the processing is done on the iMac that lives in a "Den" at the rear of the detached garage. It's raining and windy outside, and these replies are from the comfort of the MBP in the house).
     
  13. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    LOL! It is "only" cold here outside today. And yet I am still bundled up nice and cozy while sitting in a warm house! Lovely images! I look forward to more.....
     
  14. Wonderful portraits billtils!
    Processing fits the venue really well.
    1st portrait is my favourite, followed by the one in post #9
    For my taste, the negative vignette on the 3rd portrait is a bit "over the top".

     
  15. Thanks Bart.
     
  16. Blue skies and sunshine today :) .

    However, I couldn't fix the issues in the image in Post #1, or not to a degree that improved the overall appearance. I went back to the original NEF and started from scratch - cropping out the hair on the left (as viewed) was about a good as I could get it. Thanks to all for your comments - I appreciated what you had to say and enjoyed the exercise even if the outcome was not the best.

    Antique NIK Anttique Edit Loretta.jpg
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    After all that, I like the image in Post #9 best of those of Lauretta processed in the NIK Antique option.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. A real improvement in my opinion.
    I was under the impression that the negative vignette in the first post was a processing decision from you.

    I have to agree that I find the portrait in post #9 more flattering for the model.

     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. #1 looks like young Helen Mirren.
     
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